3 Myths Of Being A Pregnant Yoga Teacher
When you’re pregnant, you get advice from everyone, on everything. Some of it is welcome, and the majority is not.
I’m guilty of this too. I trained as a Prenatal Yoga Teacher in 2014, before being pregnant, and was quick to dish out advice to pregnant ladies about how to manage this ache and that symptom, without them even asking me for it.
However, when you’re a pregnant yoga teacher, you don’t just get advice about the pregnancy. You are also told about what you should be able to do and feel during your pregnancy and delivery.
In my opinion, I don’t even consider this advice. It’s more like an assumption people have of you, or maybe you have of yourself, just because you are pregnant, practice and teach yoga at the same time.
I now see how even though it comes from a good place, it can be quite harmful, especially to a first time pregnancy. This can lead to self-doubt and unrealistic expectations of yourself, your pregnancy or the delivery.
Which is why I decided to get a bit more personal, open up about my pregnancies and dispel the main myths about my time being a pregnant yoga teacher.
Myth 1. You shouldn’t teach Yoga whilst you’re pregnant
This is like saying you shouldn’t work whilst you’re pregnant. Of course you can, just apply some common sense! People assume that when you teach yoga, you are also carrying out every single pose in the class. Also, you aren’t limited to only teaching pregnancy yoga if you’re pregnant, you can teach anything!
In my opinion, a great yoga teacher is one who can guide you through a pose effortlessly, without them carrying out the pose themselves.
I aim to teach this way, and teaching whilst I was pregnant was a great way to practice. I had to learn to communicate my instructions better and move around more efficiently to conserve my energy. I used other participants to demonstrate and was careful with my posture when helping out on adjustments.
I even hosted my first Greek Yoga Retreat during my pregnancy! I acted smartly and invited another teacher to join me. I decided it was better the spilt the workload (and proceeds) with her, and not tire myself out.
Love the idea of a Yoga Retreat? Join me on my next one September 2022!
I followed my pregnancy rule of ‘’never run out of breath’’, and this really served me well in changing the way I ran this retreat and in how I taught all my classes.
Myth 2. You’ll have a symptom free pregnancy because you can treat anything with your Yoga practice.
Because doctors never get ill right? Well, when I was pregnant, I had nausea, RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome), reflux, sciatica and lower back pain.
Considering I had two wonderful and healthy pregnancies, and practiced Yoga regularly, I still couldn’t fully eliminate these symptoms.
Not being able to treat them myself actually became an issue for me. As a Yoga teacher, I could teach others how to alleviate these, and I myself was dealing with them too.
It took me time, and a second pregnancy, to understand that it doesn’t work that way. Just because you’ve undergone extensive training, and can really help others, you can’t always heal yourself. I went out of my comfort zone and found other people and techniques that could help.
I found that a combination of chiropractic care, physiotherapy, massage, swimming and Ayurveda did wonders to my physical and emotional state.
I only wish I stopped listening to other people’s expectations of what I should be able to resolve and sought outside help sooner.
Myth 3. You’re a Yoga Teacher, you should be able to just breathe your baby out!
This had to be the most common myth I heard. It fully indoctrinated me and I truly believed this approaching the end of my 1st pregnancy.
Ironically, I heard this from work colleagues, midwives, doctors, family and friends, everyone except Yoga Teachers.
A yoga teacher is flexible, strong and has great breath control right? All the qualities you need for a pain-free smooth birth. Well, I found out the hard way, and it doesn’t work like that! I considered myself to have all those qualities, yet some things are simply not in our control, yogi or not.
- Just because you know what yoga poses help shift a baby into the right position, doesn’t mean it will be
- Just because you know about pelvic floor exercises, doesn’t mean you won’t need an episiotomy.
- Just because you meditate, and practice breathwork, doesn’t mean you can’t ask for pain relief.
- Just because you know how to prepare for a natural birth, doesn’t mean you won’t need a c-section.
I felt myself being judged, into what I should and shouldn’t do and feel during the birth process. Partly from others, but mostly from myself.
In my first pregnancy, I brainwashed myself into believing this myth, to my detriment. I ended up giving birth at almost 43 weeks, with 5 days of continuous interventions. All because I couldn’t let go of the fact that I should have a vaginal birth, free from the influence of pain-relief.
In my second delivery, was very different. This time, I shut out the outside noises (COVID helped a lot here), practiced hypnobirthing, and had a homebirth, right in my bedroom.
Of course, as a yoga teacher I still get the odd ”of course you had a home birth, you’re a Yoga teacher”. Little do they know about my first birth…but more about that in another blog post.